January 17, 2020

21 Things You Probably Didn't Know About H-E-B

With a history as long as H-E-B's, and with fans as loyal as they are, we'd say that San Antonians likely know a lot about the locally-based grocery retailer. We'll put you to the test and offer 21 bits of (useless, but interesting) trivia about H-E-B.
Scroll down to view images

Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Join the San Antonio Current Press Club for as little as $5 a month

The company gives away houses — no, really.
In addition to giving back to the community at large, the company also specifically helps out those who have served. H-E-B has provided homes to dozens of wounded veterans over the last couple of years, made possible by the H-E-B Tournament of Champions golf fundraiser.
Photo via Instagram / hebnewsroom
The company gives away houses — no, really.
In addition to giving back to the community at large, the company also specifically helps out those who have served. H-E-B has provided homes to dozens of wounded veterans over the last couple of years, made possible by the H-E-B Tournament of Champions golf fundraiser.
Photo via Instagram / hebnewsroom
A South Side store was the first H-E-B location with air conditioning.
This ain’t no joke. The Nogalitos location opened on April 1, 1945, making it the first store with A/C and that carried frozen foods. That original location has since been demolished, but it’s still as memorable given that it’s the only H-E-B store in the city that requires a ride up an escalator or elevator to shop.
Photo via Google Maps
A South Side store was the first H-E-B location with air conditioning.
This ain’t no joke. The Nogalitos location opened on April 1, 1945, making it the first store with A/C and that carried frozen foods. That original location has since been demolished, but it’s still as memorable given that it’s the only H-E-B store in the city that requires a ride up an escalator or elevator to shop.
Photo via Google Maps
Howard E. Butt had a lot of motivation to grow the company.
After Howard returned home in 1919 after serving in the U.S. Navy, Florence turned the store over to him. Knowing that he didn’t want to operate just one store, he worked for many years to open a second store, which he did in 1927 with the opening of a Del Rio store. In 1935, he changed the company’s name to C.C. Butt Cash Grocery and followed a self-serve cash and carry business model. Here he is pictured with his son Charles in 1971.
Photo via Facebook / H-E-B
Howard E. Butt had a lot of motivation to grow the company.
After Howard returned home in 1919 after serving in the U.S. Navy, Florence turned the store over to him. Knowing that he didn’t want to operate just one store, he worked for many years to open a second store, which he did in 1927 with the opening of a Del Rio store. In 1935, he changed the company’s name to C.C. Butt Cash Grocery and followed a self-serve cash and carry business model. Here he is pictured with his son Charles in 1971.
Photo via Facebook / H-E-B
The company was actually started by one badass woman.
Sure, you’ve heard of Howard E. Butt and Charles Butt. However, Florence Thornton Butt deserves a lot more credit than she’s given. H-E-B all began because she opened a grocery store in Kerrville in 1905 after her husband fell sick. She got a $60 loan (about $1,752 today) to open Mrs. C. C. Butt's Staple and Fancy Grocery. The family lived on the second floor above the store, and Florence would send her sons to deliver groceries. The boys used a red wagon and later a Model T. A replica of the latter is located on the grounds of the company’s headquarters (which is not open to the public, to be clear).
Photo via Instagram / heb
The company was actually started by one badass woman.
Sure, you’ve heard of Howard E. Butt and Charles Butt. However, Florence Thornton Butt deserves a lot more credit than she’s given. H-E-B all began because she opened a grocery store in Kerrville in 1905 after her husband fell sick. She got a $60 loan (about $1,752 today) to open Mrs. C. C. Butt's Staple and Fancy Grocery. The family lived on the second floor above the store, and Florence would send her sons to deliver groceries. The boys used a red wagon and later a Model T. A replica of the latter is located on the grounds of the company’s headquarters (which is not open to the public, to be clear).
Photo via Instagram / heb
You can grab a drink here.
Though unfortunately not available at all locations, the H-E-B Plus! in Schertz is home to the 3009 Restaurant & Bar. Here you’ll be able to score burgers, sandwiches and even your adult drink of choice — whether it be a margarita or beer flight. There’s even live music events here!
Photo via Instagram / king_ridiculous
You can grab a drink here.
Though unfortunately not available at all locations, the H-E-B Plus! in Schertz is home to the 3009 Restaurant & Bar. Here you’ll be able to score burgers, sandwiches and even your adult drink of choice — whether it be a margarita or beer flight. There’s even live music events here!
Photo via Instagram / king_ridiculous
The Butt family has a lot of money — probably more than you realize.
CEO Charles Butt, now 81 years old, is worth an estimated $10.7 billion, according to Forbes. He reportedly began working in the family business bagging groceries, stocking products and sweeping the store as a young child and became CEO in 1971. He’s the son of Howard Butt (Sr.).
Photo via Facebook / H-E-B
The Butt family has a lot of money — probably more than you realize.
CEO Charles Butt, now 81 years old, is worth an estimated $10.7 billion, according to Forbes. He reportedly began working in the family business bagging groceries, stocking products and sweeping the store as a young child and became CEO in 1971. He’s the son of Howard Butt (Sr.).
Photo via Facebook / H-E-B
San Antonio is home to the smallest H-E-B.
Any guesses which one? Yup, the South Flores Market is the tiniest store within the company at just 12,500 square feet.
Photo via Instagram / ginadavisonphotography
San Antonio is home to the smallest H-E-B.
Any guesses which one? Yup, the South Flores Market is the tiniest store within the company at just 12,500 square feet.
Photo via Instagram / ginadavisonphotography
San Antonio technically got the first H-E-B.
Sure, Kerrville has bragging rights as where H-E-B all started, but it’s actually the Alamo City that got the first store with its modern name. The company’s first store using the name we know and love today opened in SA in 1942.
Photo via Instagram / thesweetlifediary
San Antonio technically got the first H-E-B.
Sure, Kerrville has bragging rights as where H-E-B all started, but it’s actually the Alamo City that got the first store with its modern name. The company’s first store using the name we know and love today opened in SA in 1942.
Photo via Instagram / thesweetlifediary
Despite its reputation for being Texan as heck, the chain isn’t all over the Lone Star State.
H-E-B is king around South and Central Texas, but Texans in the Panhandle and in much of the Dallas-Fort Worth area live a life without H-E-B. There’s no telling when — if at all — the company will open stores in these parts of Texas.
Photo via Facebook / H-E-B
Despite its reputation for being Texan as heck, the chain isn’t all over the Lone Star State.
H-E-B is king around South and Central Texas, but Texans in the Panhandle and in much of the Dallas-Fort Worth area live a life without H-E-B. There’s no telling when — if at all — the company will open stores in these parts of Texas.
Photo via Facebook / H-E-B
It doesn’t have the best track record with the environment.
In years past, H-E-B has come out pretty low on the list of retailers and their reputation with green initiatives. The chain has even been ranked dead last for its single-use plastic bags. H-E-B has been criticized for focusing on recycling and helping with cleanup efforts, rather than reducing the amount of bags the company uses.
Photo via Instagram / heb
It doesn’t have the best track record with the environment.
In years past, H-E-B has come out pretty low on the list of retailers and their reputation with green initiatives. The chain has even been ranked dead last for its single-use plastic bags. H-E-B has been criticized for focusing on recycling and helping with cleanup efforts, rather than reducing the amount of bags the company uses.
Photo via Instagram / heb